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The season of Christmas is a time of year in which many of us love to decorate our homes, apartments, and offices with festive trinkets and fun knick-knacks. But it is also a time in which we enjoy getting together with friends and family and activities that allow us to do just that. Here are some tips on how you, or anyone you know, regardless of your creative skill level, can easily make some holiday décor items you can show off or gift.
Instead of throwing away those boxes that bar soap comes in, save them up. If it’s too far into the year to save more than a couple, you can also use small boxes around your home that might be holding things like bandages, sugar packets, or a tube of toothpaste. Once you have some, you can either go out and get some cheap gift wrap at a dollar store or some scrap fabric at a craft shop or anywhere that carries it. The gift wrap is easier to find but won’t last for years like the fabric can. Wrap the boxes in the preferred material. You can add a bow or some twine to make them a little more interesting or have something to hang them with if you chose to put them on a tree as an ornament. You can also simply use them as part of a display piece on a shelving unit, desk, or pretty much whatever you want.
There are a few options I can suggest for tree ornaments.
The easiest one is to simply recycle Christmas cards by cutting out pictures and then making a small hole in the top to put some string or ribbon through. Tie the string or ribbon so it knots at the top and then place the ornament.
A slightly more involved option is to go out and buy clear plastic bulb ornaments, which you can find pretty much anywhere that has a decent holiday aisle. Pull off the top part and add in virtually anything. You can use sand, glitter, candy… I prefer to use acrylic paint. I put it in by dipping something round into the paint and dropping it into the bulb. Then I shake the bulb up to give it a streaking appearance before removing the round object. I can let it sit to dry and then later add more colors if I choose.
The third option requires you to buy clear bulb ornaments but this time they have to be glass. Be careful when doing this one. Put some kernels of unpopped microwave popcorn in the ornament and keep the top off. Don’t put too much into it because you might have to experiment to figure out the right amount. Place the glass ornament (that’s why we need glass for this one) into the microwave and try setting the timer for 10 seconds. You can up the amount as you go but it’s better to start off with less time than overdoing things. The popcorn will pop in the glass, making for a cool addition to your tree. Do not try to touch it right away. Wait for a few minutes because it will likely be very hot.
If you drink soda, you probably have the main ingredient for this craft. If you don’t, you’ll need to get some bottles from a friend. Take a two-liter bottle and remove the label. You might need to soak it in soapy water for a while to get this done. Once it is off, you’ll need to cut around the top and bottom of the bottle, removing the lid area and the base so that you are left with basically a plastic tube. Cut that tube in strips. I would suggest you don’t make them wider than 1 inch. Put a small hole in the end of your strip and insert something you can use to hang it with, like a string or yarn. Make this piece at least a few inches long for now. You can always remove it later and shorten it but adult supervision and caution come in for the next step so it’s really a safety thing for now. Light a candle and hold the strip over it at a reasonable distance using the string or yarn so you aren’t touching the plastic directly. Twisting it around a candle will start to make it melt. You only want it to melt a little so as to change the shape. As you twist it, your strip will begin to look like an icicle and can later be placed on a tree or from some garland or whatever you decide to do with it.
These simple activities can be a joy for the whole family.